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Evenflo Big Kid Cobalt Booster Car Seat
(8 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
Evenflo Big Kid Booster - Getting What You Pay for
Sep 16, 2006 (Updated Oct 4, 2006)
Review by mmcphee
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Inexpensive, flip up arm rests
Cons:Entire back moves up, not well padded
The Bottom Line: A nice, safe, inexpensive booster, but there are more comfortable choices
For a while my parents and I had been sharing a booster seat. We finally reached the point where it simply made sense to purchase another one. Since it was on sale we purchased the Evenflo Big Kid Booster Car Seat
Recommend this product?
The Evenflo Big Kid Booster is a high back belt positioning booster seat for children 30 - 100 lbs and 57 tall. It can also be used as a backless booster for children over 40 lbs. This booster does not have an internal 5-point harness, it only uses the vehicles shoulder-lap belt to secure the child. The Evenflo Big Kid Booster utilizes an open loop design to position the seat belt properly. There is retractable cup/snack holder on each side of the seat and the arm rests rotate for easy entry. The gray and black cover is removable for washing.
Assembly and Installation
No tools are necessary to put the seat together, just some brute strength. The headrest must be snapped into the back rest. It required two of us to do it, one to hold the base and one to push. The arm rests slipped easily into place. Since the vehicles seat belt acts as the harness for the child there is no installation procedure; seat in the car, child in the seat, belt around the seat and child and you are ready to go.
Use it Right!
The purpose of a booster seat is to ensure the shoulder part of the seat belt actually goes over your childs shoulder; not into their neck, not over their face, not slipping down their shoulder or tucked behind their back. The seat belt threads through loop on the back of the seat. A squeeze of the handle at the back of the seat raises or lowers the back, and hence the seat belt, until the belt crosses your childs shoulder. It takes a little finessing to adjust the seat back into one of the five positions, but it isnt difficult.
The real trick to using a booster seat correctly is to have a child who can use it properly. A child needs to be old enough to not wiggle and fidget (much) in the car seat. They must be able to sit with the seat belt across their shoulder and not fiddle with it. If you cant trust your child to follow the rules and sit correctly each and every time they would be much better safer still in a seat with a 5-point harness.
Remember, if a booster seat is in the car it should be belted in, even if a child is not riding in it. If you are in an accident the unrestrained booster seat could become a projectile and cause serious injury. Buckle up the booster seat every time or remove it from the car when not in use!
Back it Up!
Should you use the Evenflo Big Kid Booster with or without its back? If your car does not have a head restraint your child should only use this seat with the back installed. If your back seat does have built in head restraints you could use this seat without its back if the seat belt fits correctly without the aid of the belt positioning loops. But, the wings on the back of the seat may make your child more comfortable, especially if they fall asleep; the wings provide a resting place for heads that tilt to the side. The backrest may also help keep your child remain in the proper upright position since it is more difficult to lean over to the side with the back in place.
If it were possible I would still have my 5 year old daughter in a 5-point harness in every vehicle she rides in, not just our van. Since that isnt possible Ive resigned myself to the fact that at sometimes she needs to ride in a booster seat. This is a good, if basic booster seat for around $40. For $20 more you can get the deluxe model which did seem to have a little more padding and built in lighting. My daughter says she likes this seat and it is comfortable. She can buckle herself in when we tried it out in our car, but due to other car seats an adult needs to buckle her in when she rides in my mothers car. The flip up arm rests really do make it easier to reach over and buckle her in properly.
The pop out holders are nice, but dont serve much purpose for us. She isnt allowed to eat or drink in the car and she isnt generally in a booster seat long enough to need to bring a toy with her. But she does like to flip the one she can reach open and closed a few times just because she can. The holder does not look deep enough to really hold a cup very well. Since the arm rests rotate up it is easier to enter this seat from the side and also easier to reach over and help her buckle. All in all, I am satisfied with this seat.
The Evenflo Big Kid Booster or the Graco SafeSeat Booster
When I asked my daughter to compare the Evenflo Big Kid Booster to our Graco Safe Seat she said the were the same. Not to contradict my 5 year old, but there are some differences between these seats.
Height adjustment is key for booster safety. Both seats employ a similar pull handle on the back of the seat. When adjusting the Evenflo Big Kid Booster the seat comes up from the base while just the upper head rest on the Turbo Booster Moves. So what is the difference? When you raise the Evenflo backrest you create a gap between the base of the seat and the back rest. This just doesnt look comfortable. Since only the head rest moves on the Graco Turbo Booster your childs entire back is in contact with the padded backrest.
On the Evenflo Big Kid Booster the arm rests rotate up and out of the way whereas the Graco Turbo Booster Safe Seat has fixed arm rests. I think the flip up arm rests makes it easier for a child to climb into the seat and it also makes it easier to reach the buckle.
Size and Comfort
Both seats have the same height and weight limits as both a high back and a backless booster seat. They both seem to be about the same size as well. Our Turbo Booster model definitely has more padding than our Evenflo Big Kid. For short trips around town I dont think this matters, but if a booster is to be your childs primary seat extra padding can make a difference. Our version of the Graco Turbo Booster also has a recline. This feature is probably limited to people with captains chairs that recline, but it would be nice on long trips if you can accommodate it. The Evenflo booster does not have a recline.
The Evenflo Big Kid Booster is a nice inexpensive and seemingly safe booster seat. It certainly does what it is supposed to but if you have an extra $20 I think the Graco Turbo Booster Safe Seat is better seat unless you must have arm rests that flip up.
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Amount Paid (US$): 40
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